It comes as a group of senior politicians and leaders from the business and transport industry, from Stockport and Greater Manchester, met this week to discuss the borough’s ambitious plans for Metrolink, the redevelopment of Stockport railway station and creation of a clean, green sustainable public transport network.
A round table event, centred on the ‘Next Stop Stockport’ campaign, was held in the offices of Music Magpie, in Stockport Exchange, overlooking the town’s railway hub, which is the third busiest in the North West with five million passengers a year.
The meeting was called by Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of Stockport Council, and jointly chaired with GM Mayor Andy Burnham, where key transformational projects were discussed, including a commitment to develop a business case for extending Metrolink to Stockport.
Subjects covered at the meeting included:
- Further discussions with Andy Burnham, GM Mayor, regarding his commitment to develop a business case for extending Metrolink to Stockport over the next 12 months.
- Announcing the inclusion of Stockport in the Greater Manchester priority stations work with Network Rail and TfGM.
- Launching Stockport’s response to Network North and HS2 cancellation, while promoting Stockport as Greater Manchester’s Southern Gateway
- Building an alliance between key stakeholders in support of the ‘Next Stop Stockport’ vision – a campaign that encompasses the projects detailed previously.
Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of Stockport Council, said: “Stockport has delivered in recent years – both in terms of regenerating our town centre and improving our existing infrastructure.
“The area around the station is all set to be transformed into homes for more than 7,000 more people – the town needs transport infrastructure that keeps up with the 21st century and makes this a truly neighbourhood that inspires future generations.
“We believe that we have a social and economic case to bring Metrolink to Stockport, but there is still a lot of work to do.
“The new multi-million-pound Transport Interchange, which will open in March next year, has been designed and built in a way that could accommodate the arrival of Metrolink.
“Everything is in place for Stockport, we’re just waiting for the green light to get work started.”
Eamonn Boylan, interim chair of Stockport MDC, said: “In delivering our masterplan for 130-acre Town Centre West, Stockport MDC is creating an exemplar residential neighbourhood with unparalleled transport connectivity.
“Stockport Rail Station is the single most important economic asset in Stockport Town Centre and is at the heart of Town Centre West. The connectivity it provides to Manchester, London, and a number of other regional cities is invaluable to the town, to the city region, and to the wider northern and national rail networks.
“Enhancing Stockport’s role as the transport hub for the south of Greater Manchester while maximising its role as an economic driver for Stockport is a longstanding ambition for the Council that is shared by the MDC. The event today is a leading example of how business leaders, developers and key political figures can work together to drive forward this ambition.”
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “Stockport is currently undergoing a remarkable transformation with the regeneration of its town centre and the building of the new state-of-the-art transport interchange helping to cement its role as the key southern gateway to our great city-region.
“We are developing the business cases to bring Metrolink to Stockport and redevelop the town’s railway station, which when combined with the arrival of the Bee Network franchised bus to the borough would bring huge social and economic benefits to the town.
“I know the vision for Stockport is a compelling one, and I would like to bring our outstanding tram network to the borough as soon as we possibly can. TfGM, Stockport Council, and other stakeholders on a local, regional and national level are working hard to help us realise these ambitions and deliver the wider vision to help Stockport unlock its outstanding potential.”